A Navy SEAL Comments on a Winning Team

TC Cummings 
Guest Contributor

It pays to be a winner!

I was blessed with a deluge of what I call Mental Tools during my training and service as a US Navy SEAL on the worlds most elite commando teams.  We don’t often see axioms like “It pays to be a winner” as setting the tone for a “we” concept, though do we?

The most consistent winners I observed were not the super stars in specific categories. More often than not, they were above average performers who would readily subjugate their own ego for the benefit of the team.  Teamwork is the key – but that’s easier said than done.

In the world of professional sports we see examples of the most elite super stars (frequently the best money can buy!) piled into a unit dubbed “team” and yet they fail to deliver the prize.  Not only does this cost the team money, but market share, credibility, coaching / management legitimacy, wounded relationships on the (alleged) team and individuals suffering injury.

In business, though not in the spotlight we find similar undesired results: loss of working capital, market share, credibility, leadership legitimacy, wounded relationships (often family or old friendships) and collateral personal life damages.

It pays to be a winner. 


An individual will step on people during his ascent to the top. As a result, the stay may be short and some people will remember them on their way down.  A team player will treat others with dignity during their ascent – to include rising together!  As a result, they will come to the aid and support of one-another in times of need. And everyone gets his turn in the proverbial barrel!

A winner gains internally more than externally.  Self-reliance, self-confidence, self-belief, self-trust, self-appreciation and self-worth inevitably increase with every win in which the team player perspective is taken.

The veneer of victory at the expense of others ensures an internal knowing of self-distrust and unworthiness. Under pressure, this truth will be revealed – often explosively and at the cost of many relationships.  Imagine the number of fans disappointed by Sonny Liston when, in 1964 he apparently had ointment applied to his gloves and temporarily blinded Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali). Such an act of desperation still ended in his defeat. We all cheat to win. We also know when the line has been crossed.

The way to be a winner is to subjugate your ego for the benefit of the team.  This does not assure victory in the short term but rather the long road.  Knowing this is where true personal security and joy come from while still in the process. 

It’s absolutely in your best interest to care for and expand your team. And with that team, it’s easier to win consistently and continuously.

Navy SEAL, TC Cummings, former member of MDI, offers his Noble Warrior Training and coaching. Website: https://www.tccummings.com/

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